More Videos:

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Democratic Platform Isn't Really Pro-America, But Anti-Romney

It goes on to say that President Obama "took swift action to stabilize a housing market in crisis" -- which is true enough. It would have been good for the Democratic platform-writers to end there, and not add that the Obama administration "also cracked down on fraudulent mortgage lenders and other abuses that contributed to the housing crisis." As a matter of fact, one of the most widely lamented failures of this administration had been its lackluster record in cracking down on mortgage fraud, and especially the "other abuses" part -- fraud in the sale of the exotic derivatives that became a proximate cause of the financial crisis.

The Democrats fall practically into Ryan fib territory when they say that "Democrats have held the largest financial institutions accountable by requiring them to provide relief for homeowners still struggling to pay their mortgages and to change practices that took advantage of homeowners." The reality is that the federal programs that aim at helping hard-up homeowners have been a disaster. An audit, released in July, found that a whopping 90% of the funds set aside for distressed homeowners have gone unspent. Bloomberg reported that "of a $7.6 billion aid program for families in states with the largest home-price declines ... only $351 million had been spent to assist 43,580 homeowners by the end of June of 2012 ."

Sure, even that $351 million wouldn't have been there if the Republican Party's free market and Tea Party dogmatists had their way. But why put such a whopping distortion in the party platform? The Republicans' march to the right is scary enough without distorting the Obama administration's record. It's painful to read the Democratic platform talk about how "banks and investors were allowed to package and sell risky mortgages. Huge reckless bets were made with other people's money on the line" -- when Attorney General Eric Holder, Securities and Exchange Commission head Mary Schapiro, and line prosecutors like Preet Bharara haven't held those firms accountable.

"That behavior not only nearly destroyed the financial system, it cost our economy millions of jobs, hurt middle-class and poor families, and left taxpayers holding the bill." True. But that being the case, why hasn't the Obama administration taken a single action against the perpetrators of "that behavior" who worked for the major banks?

Perhaps it doesn't matter that the word "derivatives" doesn't appear once in the platform. Perhaps the important thing is that the Republicans would try to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley and roll back, if not dismantle entirely, the Dodd-Frank reforms. The Democratic platform is correct when it says that "Mitt Romney and the Republicans would roll back financial reform," and it would have been wise to end the sentence right there. But to say that the GOP candidates would "let Wall Street write its own rules again" implies that there has been a fundamental change in the rulemaking process. And there hasn't been.